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Samurai films are an intriguing combination of frenetic action sequences, moving personal drama, and philosophical observations on loyalty and violence, all set against the spectacular backdrop of pre-industrial Japan. References to samurai films are quite common in film literature, and many mainstream directors, from Hollywood and elsewhere, have been inspired and influenced by them-Lucas by Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, and the genre of spaghetti westerns by Kurosawa's Yojimbo. Want to see one of the major inspirations for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films? Look no further than Toshiya Fujita's Lady Snowblood. The history of this unique Japanese genre, including its influence on world cinema is covered, as well as analysis of the key films that have defined the genre. Classics such as Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy are included, as well as more recent films, such as Shinobi, Aragami, and The Twilight Samurai.

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